Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stylish Tacoma Mall Interior, 1972

Tacoma, Washington - 1972

Inside Tacoma Mall in the early seventies. Below is the accompanying caption for this vintage reference photo (most shopping malls don't even bother to do such local, community-centric things like this anymore):
"Display of portraits of the officers and directors of the Greater Tacoma Chamber of Commerce surrounding pillars within the Tacoma Mall. Shoppers at the mall in 1972 were invited to meet the area's business leaders via their color portraits taken by the Richards Studio. A label identifying the individual was in the corner of each gold and wood framed picture."
Mall history: 1964 - present
Architect: John Graham
Current website: here
Current aerial view
Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4

(Study image courtesy Tacoma Public Library, Richards Studio Collection D160900-352C)

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Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

I don't much care for the portraits of local chamber of commerce luminaries, but that interior with those tapered columns is simply lovely.

Tue Apr 24, 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a beautifully designed interior! Gosh, they sure don't make em like this anymore. Think I'll cry for a while now.

Tue Apr 24, 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kind of derivative of Frank Lloyd Wright's SC Johnson Wax building (see photo here --> http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/00/Johnsonwax600.jpg

Tue Apr 24, 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger BIGMallrat said...

Reminds of an old European church where you are supposed to be dwarfed by the structure (and thus, feel small).
Isn't Tacoma home to the famous "aroma"?

Tue Apr 24, 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Yeah, Scott, Starbucks coffee. ;)

Tue Apr 24, 07:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonas said...

The "aroma of Tacoma" hangs around north of downtown, due to the pulp mill, and rarely shows up any more. Tacoma Mall is south, down the freeway.

Wed Apr 25, 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This mall still looked bascially the same when I was growing up near there in the late 80s. Southcenter mall closer to Seattle had the same look. Do they still have these columns? While I'm at it, SeaTac mall in Federal Way used to have these groovy purple and red plastic Native American-esque plastic skylights. Are they still around or has that mall be stripped of it's identity and looks like any other mall?

Wed Apr 25, 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous didi said...

Every time this mall is featured I fall in love with those columns more and more.

Tacoma should be known for the mall not for that god-awful shall remain nameless coffee.

Sat Apr 28, 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous tkaye said...

As I've mentioned before, this is what was called the "Columnarium" in the grand opening newspaper seven years prior.

There's now a "Comcast On-Demand Lounge" at about the same spot as those photos of the businessmen -- basically a couple of sofas and television sets trying to sell you on cable, but it's nice to just sit there in the shadow of those grand columns. Anonymous asked if they're still there... I read that they can't remove them because they are essential to the structural integrity of that portion of the building. So, it sounds like they would have liked to have gotten rid of them when the mall was extensively remodeled in 2000, but they couldn't do it. (Graham & Co. knew what they were doing!) In the past year or so, white-painted wooden "archways" have been bolted between several of them in an apparent attempt to make them less visually interesting.

Oh yeah... the SeaTac Mall was remodeled a couple of years ago into "The Commons at Federal Way" and the northwest motif was lost.

Friedlander's Jewelers is in the exact same space you see here. It's the only non-anchor tenant that's been in the same space for all 41 years. All the brown brick has been painted white with large repeating lavender diamonds.

Just a slight correction to what Jonas said about the aroma... it actually comes from east of downtown where the pulp mills are located on the tideflats. In the old days, the pulp smell was also compounded by pollution from a copper smelter and a rendering plant. I think burnt cabbage was probably the most accurate description of the odor.

And Didi, Starbucks is a Seattle product... a lot of Seattlites would be very upset to have it associated with the Tacoma hoi polloi. Tacoma is the home of the Almond Roca candy factory and where Nalley's pickles are made.

Sun Apr 29, 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of the Tacoma mall or the surround area. You can look at other Tacoma homes and just kinda get a feel of the dreariness.

I'd rather be up in SEA where the Seattle homesare a little nicer.

Mon Dec 12, 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a huge fan of the Tacoma mall or the surround area. You can look at other Tacoma homes and just kinda get a feel of the dreariness.

I'd rather be up in SEA where the Seattle homes are a little nicer.

Mon Dec 12, 03:08:00 PM  

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